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A Mighty Wind

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: A Mighty Wind

Starring: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy
Director: Christoper Guest
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 87 Minutes
Release Date: April 2003
Genres: Comedy, Documentary

*Also starring: Michael McKean, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., John Michael Higgins, Harry Shearer, Parker Posey, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge

Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Writer/director/actor Christopher Guest has devised his own specific cinematic genre: the mockumentary. With its spontaneous, improvised dialogue, the mockumentary does have a basic structure: the story revolves around diverse characters who meet for a common purpose which they take very, very seriously. In "Spinal Tap," it was rock stars; in "Waiting for Guffman," community theater; in "Best of Show," dog shows. Now, Guest's ensemble takes a satirical look at '60s folk singers. As the story begins, the son (Bob Balaban) of a folk music mogul is organizing a Town Hall reunion performance in tribute to his late father. First on his list are The Folksmen (Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean), a trio who haven't played together for 30 years but are eager for a comeback. Then there's Mitch & Mickey (Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara), a once-romantic duo, reminiscent of Sonny & Cher in their emotionally explosive relationship. Finally, The New Main Street Singers, a nine-member pop group, not unlike The New Christy Minstrels. Relentlessly up-beat Laurie (Jane Lynch) and Terry (John Michael Higgins) Bohner head the bouncy 'neuftet' - when they're not worshipping the vibrations of color. Plus there's an obnoxious manager (Fred Willard) and TV director (Ed Begley Jr.)

The camera follows the performers' preparation, rehearsal and performance, exploring their frailties and foibles. Too bad that the bizarre groups don't interact more with one another; it seems like a missed opportunity for yet another level of humor. Nevertheless, on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "A Mighty Wind" is an affectionately amusing, zany, toe-tappin' 7. While not as hilarious as its predecessors, at times, it's laugh-out-loud funny.

Copyright 2003 Susan Granger

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